Ethic of care

Carol Gilligan:

When we separate our thoughts from our emotions, we retain the capacity to solve logical problems but lose the ability to register experience and navigate the human social world.

Rather than asking how we gain the capacity to care, or how we learn to take the point of view of the other and overcome the pursuit of self-interest, we are prompted to ask instead: how do we lose the capacity to care, what inhibits our ability to empathize with others and pick up the emotional climate, and how do we fail to register the difference between being in and out of touch?



The connection between knowledge and “enlightenment” (S. Pinker):  The single best predictor of emancipative (liberal) values is knowledge.  Knowledge accounts for 70% of the variation in emancipative values across countries, making it a far better predictor than GDP.  The statistical result vindicates a key insight of the Enlightenment: knowledge and sound institutions lead to moral progress.


More Buber ... predicting the vacuum that is social media

Martin Buber’s prescient commentary on social media discussion:  
Debate = Thoughts are not expressed in the way in which they existed in the mind but in the speaking are so pointed that they may strike home in the sharpest way, and moreover without the men that are spoken to being regarded in anyway present as persons.
Conversation =  characterized by the need neither to communicate something, nor to learn something, nor to influence someone, nor to come into connexion with someone, but solely by the desire to have one’s own self-reliance confirmed by marking the impression that is made, or if it has become unsteady to have it strengthened.

Buber further describes this tendency to mistake so-called dialogue for reflexion, defined as withdrawal from accepting with his essential being another person in his particularity – a particularity which is by no means to be circumscribed by the circle of his own self, and though it substantially touches and moves his soul is in no way immanent in it – and lets the other exist only as his own experience, only as a “part of myself”.  …  Then Dialogue becomes a fiction …

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Martin Buber and Facebook

Martin Buber explains why no serious issues will ever be resolved on Facebook:
Today host upon host of men have everywhere sunk into the slavery of collectives, and each collective is the supreme authority for its own slaves; there is no longer, superior to the collectives, any universal sovereignty in idea, faith,or spirit.  Against the values, decrees, and decisions of the collective no appeal is possible.  This is true not only for the totalitarian countries, but also for the parties and party-like groups in the so-called democracies.  Men who have so lost themselves to the collective Moloch cannot be rescued from it by any reference, however eloquent, to the absolute whose kingdom the Moloch has usurped.  One has to begin by pointing to that sphere where man himself, in the hours of utter solitude, occasionally becomes aware of the disease through sudden pain: by pointing to the relation of the individual to his own self.  In order to enter into a personal relation with the absolute, it is first necessary to be a person again, to rescue one’s real personal self from the fiery jaws of collectivism which devours all selfhood.   



Reading Teilhard in Guatemala

Fire and heart.  The fire is the fire of divine love and the heart is the living center of human life and the symbol of all centers, the essence of reality itself, the diaphany of the divine at the heart of a glowing universe.

To live the cosmic life is to live dominated by the consciousness that one is an atom in the body of the mystical and cosmic Christ.  Such a person’s heart is always more receptive.

The material world can today be seen by us as suspended from the spiritual consciousness of human beings.  The world we see is still profoundly unstable and incomplete. Unstable because the millions of souls (living or deported) now included in the cosmos form an uneasy multiple that for mechanical reasons must have a center if it is to hold together. Incomplete because while it represents a weakness, their very plurality is a strength and a source of hope for the future - that being the demand for or the anticipation of a later unification in spirit.